A Beautiful Holiday Meal to Remember

Posted on: November 18th, 2019

By Chef Susan Ytterberg

Chef Susan Ytterberg

With the holidays around the corner, it’s typical to ask yourself what you’re going to cook for the special dinner. Whether you’ve got a big crowd or an intimate dinner for two, you want it to be a delicious, memorable meal.  If you want your meal to be high impact but fairly easy to prepare, check out this menu and recipes.

The Classic Entrée Selection:

Roast Beef Tenderloin with Mustard & Garlic
Don’t be afraid of making this roast!  It is simple and unbelievably good. Remember to plan ahead and call in your order to your meat market 1 week in advance to reserve your roast.

Vegan Option Side Dish:

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Quinoa & Mushroom Duxelles, Spinach & Vegan Cheese
This recipe is a winner whether your preference is vegan, or your guests enjoy all foods. It is sumptuous and delicious.

Side Dishes & Dessert:
Roast Asparagus with Herbs de Provence
Romaine & Baby Kale Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Radishes, Sunflower Seeds and Lemon VinaigretteChef Susan’s Berry Sundae with St. Germain Whipped Cream & Chocolate Shavings

Roasted Beef Tenderloin

Rule of thumb is to plan for ½ lb per person
Serves 8 to 10

Preheat oven to 400 degrees for a minimum of 30 minutes

4 ½ to 5 ½ pounds prime beef tenderloin (the largest they come; go to a specialty butcher shop or call in an order a few days in advance)
Coating for roast:
4 tablespoons salted, softened, room-temp butter
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper

Two hours before you are ready to put your roast in oven, remove from refrigerator and allow to come to room temp for two hours. Lightly cover with parchment paper to keep clean.  Because is it 34 degrees when it comes out of the fridge, it needs to come to room temp so that it cooks properly. Meanwhile, mix together the coating ingredients. Coat a baking sheet with foil, cover well with spray oil. Place roast on top. If you are doubling recipe and have two roasts of equal size, you can place on same sheet but not touching each other. The cooking time is the same whether you have one or two on the same cooking sheet.

With clean hands, rub entire surface area of roast with the butter coating. Ensure top, bottom, sides and ends are completely coated. Place in a 400-degree oven for exactly 13 minutes. Keep oven door closed after 13 minutes and reduce heat of oven to 250 degrees and continue roasting for exactly 50 minutes. Remove from oven, leave on pan and counter and tent with foil.  Allow to rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Carve and serve. This recipe ensures a medium-rare roast with ends of roast more medium.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Mushroom Duxelles, Quinoa, Spinach & Vegan Cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

6 giant portobello mushrooms, brushed clean
1 ½ cups vegan cheese

1 10-ounce box white mushrooms, chopped
2 shallots
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon vegan butter
4 cups of spinach leaves, chopped

Cook Quinoa:
1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
3 cups organic vegetable stock
Cook low heat 30 minutes.

If you are open to using white wine, add ¼ cup of white wine to mushrooms when sautéing. Mix sauté and quinoa together, then add vegan cheese. Season inside of portobello mushroom, drizzle with EVOO. Pack with stuffing. Bake 30 minutes or until mushroom is tender. Garnish with thyme sprig.

Roast Asparagus with Herbs de Provence

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Asparagus – any amount
2+ tablespoons olive or walnut oil
Salt and pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons Herbs de Provence

Rinse asparagus with cold water to clean and pat cry. Place on foil lined cookie sheet or roasting pan. Drizzle oil over asparagus and using hands, roll to ensure each piece from tip to stem is lightly coated in oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper and then sprinkle Herbs de Provence over asparagus. Bake for 20 minutes. After 10 minutes, open oven and shake tray gently to roll and turn asparagus and then continue baking.

Romaine & Baby Kale Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Radishes, Sunflower Seeds and Lemon Vinaigrette

Romaine lettuce, clean and bite sized
1 bag baby kale
1 box cherry tomatoes, cleaned and halved
12 radishes, cleaned, stems removed and sliced

¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ cup EVOO
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: If bitter after blending, add 1 to 2 teaspoons honey

Chef Susan’s Berry Sundae with St. Germaine Whipped Cream & Shaved Chocolate
Serves 6 to 8

Whipped Cream:
1 pint heavy cream
½ cup or more (to taste) powdered sugar
½ cup St. Germaine liqueur
Use mixer to whip cream until satiny and fairly firm

Sundae: Use clear glass or shallow bowl to showcase the layers
1 box blackberries
1 box strawberries, cleaned and sliced
1 box raspberries

Topping & Garnish:
Mint leaves cleaned and plucked into sprigs
Dark chocolate bar – use vegetable peeler to carve into shavings or curls on sundae

Make whipped cream. Layer cleaned berries in serving glasses or bowls. Top with dollop of whipped cream. Garnish with mint leaves and chocolate shavings.

Chef Susan Ytterberg, owner of Golden Plum Personal Chef Services, graduated from Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Arts San Francisco and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs. For more information visit Golden-Plum.com.